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Thursday, December 20, 2018, 16:15
​US Senate passes stopgap funding bill to avert govt shutdown
By Xinhua
Thursday, December 20, 2018, 16:15 By Xinhua

In this file photo taken on Dec 3, 2018 Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell waits for a ceremony for former US President George HW Bush in the US Capitol in Washington, DC. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP)

WASHINGTON — The US Senate on Wednesday night passed a stopgap funding bill to keep several federal agencies funded until Feb 8, avoiding a partial government shutdown after Friday. 

US President Donald Trump has not yet confirmed he will sign the bill into law, but the White House said he will "certainly" look at it

Approved in a voice vote with bipartisan support in the Senate, the legislation is expected to be voted on by the House on Thursday. 

US President Donald Trump has not yet confirmed he will sign the bill into law, but the White House said he will "certainly" look at it. 

The bill, proposed earlier in the day by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell -- a Kentucky Republican -- denied the US$5 billion bill that Trump wants for building a wall on the US-Mexico border. 

READ MORE: Italy: 5-Star wants polls, League sets terms for stopgap govt

The border wall funding has been at the center of a partisan dispute over which the president once vowed to paralyze the government. 

A partial government closure, set to happen after Friday if the impasse continues, would disrupt the jobs of over 800,000 federal employees, half of whom might have to work without pay. 

ALSO READ: Report: White House seeks US$18b to extend border wall

The temporary measure will fund border security and other federal agencies at the current level until Feb 8. Some conservative lawmakers urged Trump to veto it.

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